Number of staff at MoJ HQ allocated to the HMCTS Interpretation Project in 2012
Ministry of Justice
102 Petty France
Our Reference: FOI/79424
21 December 2012
Dear Mr McCafferty,
Freedom of Information Request
Thank you for your emails of 26 October and 26 November, in which you asked for the following information from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ):
“I am writing to request the following information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000:
Please confirm the total number of civil servants who have worked on the Interpretation Project within the Ministry of Justice since January 2010 to date.
Please let me have the information requested above in the electronic form.”
Your request has been handled under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (FOIA).
I can confirm that the Ministry of Justice holds information that you have asked for. However, because the cost of complying with your request would exceed the limit set by the Freedom of Information Act, on this occasion I'm afraid I will not be taking your request further. In this letter I explain why that is the case, and I also provide you with some advice as to how you could refine your request so that we may be able to answer it.
The law allows us to decline to answer FOI requests when we estimate it would cost us more than £600 (equivalent to 3½ working days’ worth of work, calculated at £25 per hour) to identify, locate, extract, and then provide the information that has been asked for.
In this instance to provide you with the information we would mean contacting a number of offices across the MoJ estate to obtain these details. This has been a long running project which began in 2010 and had various different aims at different times – procurement, implementation and activating contingencies after the contract went live. This involved staff from various geographical locations and specialisms across the MoJ, and would require a search of an email archive of several thousand emails covering the period you request to determine the various individuals involved. It is therefore my opinion that providing the details you ask for would take more than 3½ days.
You can find out more about section 12(1) by reading the extract from the Act and some guidance points we consider when applying this exemption, attached at the end of this letter.
You can also find more information by reading the full text of the Act, available at
http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2000/36/section/12 and further guidance
Although we cannot answer your request at the moment, we may be able to answer a refined request within the cost limit. You may wish to consider, for example, limiting your request to a shorter specific time period, or to a phase of the project. Please be aware however that we cannot guarantee at this stage that a refined request in line with this advice will fall within the FOIA cost limit, particularly in view of the manner in which the information you request is held, as set out above.
On a discretionary basis and outside the terms of the FOIA, I set out below the number of staff at MoJ HQ allocated to the HMCTS Interpretation Project in 2012 only. These may refer to more than one individual, such as replacing one member of the team if they moved post.
Band/Grade of post(s)
Band A/ Grade 7
Band B/ Senior Executive Officer
Fast Stream/ Higher Executive
Band C/ Higher Executive Officer
The work has been overseen by a Deputy Director who has undertaken this work alongside other duties. As needs have arisen additional resources have been deployed to the project for short periods of time – this includes gaining operational input and advice, professional advice and secretarial support.
You have the right to appeal our decision if you think it is incorrect. Details can be found in the ‘How to Appeal’ section attached at the end of this letter.
You can also view information that the Ministry of Justice has disclosed in response to previous Freedom of Information requests. Responses are anonymised and published on our on-line disclosure log which can be found on the MoJ website:
The published information is categorised by subject area and in alphabetical order.